Eligma CEO Dejan Roljic: Blockchain and AI-Based Platform Will ‘Transform the Commerce Industry’
Eligma is a cognitive commerce platform which aims to change the way people discover, purchase, track and resell items online by utilizing both artificial intelligence and blockchain technology. Bitcoinist sat down with CEO Dejan Roljic to learn more about the Eligma platform and how it will change the way consumers and merchants interact and do business.
Bitcoinist: Eligma aims to disrupt e-commerce. What is the biggest problem with the industry today, and where does Eligma fit in?
DR: There are a couple of issues that Eligma is aiming to solve. We have too many options when it comes to online shopping, so we lose too much time searching for the best offer and can’t be sure, whether we find it and we have to open a separate account for each new store we visit. Eligma’s AI will help users find the best deal quickly. If they want, they can browse further or accept Eligma’s suggestion and they can do everything from a single account.
With time, a lot of items get accumulated in our homes. We lose track of what we have and don’t know when to sell what we don’t use anymore or want to replace it. Eligma will offer users blockchain-protected inventory for tracking their belongings and the one-click listing of used goods in selected stores.
Each retailer has their own loyalty program. If you collect points with one retailer, you have to spend it there as well. Eligma will introduce a unified loyalty program with all member retailers, based on its ELI crypto token.
Cryptocurrencies are mostly used as value holders and exchange items. We want to enable consumers to use them for buying every item imaginable.
Bitcoinist: Why is decentralization important for online shopping problems?
DR: By storing item data into a blockchain we will ensure that second-hand sales are safe and transparent. Buyers can be sure that they are receiving items they paid for. By using smart contracts, we can execute decentralized sales where we remove mediators from customer to customer trading and in this way eliminate fees and ensure transparency.
Bitcoinist: Tell us how Eligma help customers find both the best deals and the best time to sell their products.
DR: It will use its AI for both cases. It will search all stores that joined the platform and find the best offers according to the preferences users set. This will remove the feeling that there is always a better offer available somewhere else. When users enter bought items in their inventory, Eligma’s AI will keep track of their price and how that price changes through time. When the time is right, it will tell users and they can decide whether they want to sell it.
Bitcoinist: In layman’s terms, how does Eligma’s artificial intelligence work?
DR: When users enter preferences, they want in a product, Eligma’s AI will search through all the available online stores and find the offer with the best quality/price ratio. If users don’t know enough about the product, they will be able to call up Eligma’s chatbot, who will ask them simple questions about the product and tailor the search to users’ demands.
Bitcoinist: How much work goes into building a decentralized AI app?
DR: Our AI will not be decentralized as that would not make sense. It does require a lot of work and especially huge amounts of data though.
Bitcoinist: How does Eligma help protect the shoppers’ data?
DR: A big problem in today’s online shopping is that every store collects users’ data. It is then scattered all around the web and it is practically impossible to find and delete it all if the users choose to do so. Eligma will save all data in one place, making it easier to protect. It will allow users to depersonalize that data with a click of a button. Data will be made anonymous, meaning it cannot be connected to certain users anymore.
Bitcoinist: Tell us a bit about EliPay and how it fits into Eligma’s vision.
DR: We are big crypto believers and Elipay is our attempt to bring cryptocurrencies into the mainstream. It is Eligma’s cryptocurrency payment gateway that will allow users to pay with cryptocurrencies in all stores, even those that don’t offer that payment option yet. We will start testing it in a few days in BTC City, a Slovenian retail, logistics, business, and entertainment center with more than 4,000 businesses that hosts more than 21 million visitors yearly.
Bitcoinist: Your pre-sale raised an impressive 14,550 ETH. At a time when investors are increasingly wary of investing in ICOs, what were the factors that drew so much investor support for Eligma?
DR: A clear vision and roadmap. Eligma will indeed transform the commerce industry and I believe our supporters were able to see that. They see great potential in the product and they decided to join us.
Bitcoinist: Eligma’s main token sale begins in just five days. Can you give us the details?
DR: Our crowdsale starts on April 17th at 11:00 UTC. Minimum contribution will be 0.1 ETH and the token exchange rate will be 1 ELI = 0.1 USD. We will offer decreasing bonuses, starting at 8 % for the first 20 million tokens. We will lock the ETH exchange rate at 800 $ to show our faith in the crypto market.
Bitcoinist: Has Eligma had to overcome any obstacles in relation to regulations? How difficult is it to comply with different rules in different regions of the world?
DR: We have a very thorough KYC process in place to comply with regulations and ensure that our crowdsale is transparent with honest contributions from people who believe in us. We have excluded certain countries from participating in our crowdsale to comply with their local regulations. We do believe that regulations are necessary to prevent fraudulent crowdsales to undermine people’s trust.
Bitcoinist: In which region do you expect to see the most growth in Eligma’s customer base?
DR: In the first phase, we will be testing the product in Slovenia, so this is where our first customer base will be established. As we expand later, we hope and believe that our customers will come from all parts of the globe.
Bitcoinist: What excites you the most about the project?
DR: I cannot single out just one aspect. I think Eligma as a whole will change the way people see online shopping and commerce in general. Hopefully, we will change their life for the better and that is a wonderful thing.
Do you have other questions for the team at Eligma? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Eligma, iStockPhoto